• Japanese Fashionista!

    Tokyo, Japan…we finished our visit to Japan with a real “score”!

    Vintage Kimono shopping on the corner of Meiji-Dori in the bustling Harajuku district! This open air market had thousands of vintage kimonos and obi to choose from!

    My friend Shelly got into it and walked away with some amazing finds…a summery kimono as a robe for the beach, an evening black kimono to dress up, and a rugged denim worker style kimono to make a fashion statement!

    A little background on the kimono:

    The kimono (着物) is a Japanese traditional garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono”, which literally means a “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”), has come to denote these full-length robes.

    Kimono are T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial.), and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back.






  • Shrine of the Times!

    Tokyo, Japan…Today Japan awed and inspired me at the Meiji Shrine (明治神宮 Meiji Jingū), located in Shibuya. This is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.

    A peaceful oasis in the heart of modern Tokyo, Meiji Shrine is sheltered by a 700,000 square-meter forest of 120,000 evergreen trees, donated from all parts of Japan when the shrine was established.

    The shrine grounds are entered through two of Japan’s largest torii (shrine gates), made of beautiful cypress wood more than 1,700 years old.

    The shrine was rebuilt in the 1950’s after being destroyed in World War II…this is the most visited shrine in Tokyo.

    In part of the compound, you can write a wish and place at the altar and shake a cylinder of thin sticks till one pops out revealing a wisdom or poem relating to your life! Mine was great!

    This was an amazing yet solemn place that just evokes a true sense of Japan’s long history and proud people! The design is a hallmark of Japanese beauty!









  • Hollaback Girl!

    Tokyo, Japan…love Gwen Stefani and the Harujuka Girls she made famous! Today was shopping day in the Harajuka area and the adjoining Omotesando area…

    Colorful fashion, platform sneakers, sparkly accessories and cartoon graphics galore! This area mixes this Japanese love of “cute” fashion through the winding side streets and brand name designer fashion on the major avenues…These young fashion girls are colorful pop culture icons in Japan and they are visible working in as well as shopping in the shops all along this area! They are the real life version of the colorful Japanese drawings…

    Funny enough, fashion wasn’t what inspired me today! It was a great shop of unique handmade stickers that I loved! These digitally rendered stickers at “B-Side Label” looked great used all together on a wall or on a bike…so many cool ways to make a statement!

    I got a feel for young Tokyo today and it was a cool peek into this colorful world!





  • Luxury Overload!

    Tokyo, Japan…this morning’s view was of a snow capped Mount Fuji in the distance! What a beautiful sight looming far beyond Tokyo’s urban sprawl!

    Today is fashion time! We braved navigating the city’s subway system to get us to the shopping mecca of Ginza! We managed to get there without getting lost and once we arrived we were struck with the amount of mega luxury brands jammed into one area! Luxury after luxury with one being more expensive than the next…it’s mind blowing to even think who is buying all this! I admit my head was spinning and needed to stop for directions a few times as some stores are down alleyways that you would never expect!

    I thought the buildings themselves were interesting…the bland modernity was transformed with custom facades to set each brand apart!

    Dover Street Market by Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons is a curated collection of fashion cool…this bazaar of sorts is meant to give off a vibe of “beautiful chaos”…but to me, the sales people stole the limelight from the store itself! Each Japanese associate had such amazing style that was unique and so distinctly Japanese! It’s this kind of “out-there” fashion mixing that is totally chic yet interestingly new that you rarely see elsewhere! Very inspiring!

    The day flew by as we walked the streets going store to store and the sun sets early now and the day darkened very fast! As we wrapped up this day of fashion mega brand overload, we headed back to the hotel admiring the city’s lights all around us!







  • Fly like an Eagle!

    Singapore…it’s a daredevil day for us in Asia! This year’s Halloween costumes are going to be skydiver flight suits and a simulated skydive for our ghoulish treat!

    I always wanted to jump from a plane, but I definitely am not brave enough to actually do it! On Sentosa Island in Singapore there is an IFly skydive simulator…so this is finally my chance!

    Friends Shelly and Julie were as excited as I was to try it! It’s a totally fun and much more economically way to experience a jump without all the risk! I think that step off an actual moving plane may just send me into a total panic attack!

    After a lesson and instructions from a certified jumper, we were outfitted in our flight suits, helmets, googles, and ear plugs…minutes later we were flying in the glass dive chamber! Remembering to breathe, relax, and keep your body in good posture allows the high velocity wind to make sure you soar high into the circular chamber!

    What a rush! Totally cool! Its freaky, frightful, and exhilarating at the same time! Afterwards the instructor showed off his in-flight acrobatics and we all said we would love to do it again!

    We all got our certificates and left feeling totally fulfilled! What a memorable day totally out of my comfort zone!






  • Taking on New Shapes!

    Singapore…This modern Asian city is bursting with state of the art architecture! The skyline is starting to take on a space age look with a futuristic sensibility!

    Marina Bay Sands is the new icon of the waterfront…it’s spaceship top high in the sky holds an incredible cantilevered pool over the city with a disappearing infinity edge!

    All around the Marina Bay you can spot cool new marvels of architectural engineering!

    Standing at the water’s edge feels as if you are looking at a glossy magazine featuring creativity with an eye to the future! It is great to see a city working so hard to remain current and evolve with the times! Singapore is rapidly growing and evolving to reflect what a modern day metropolis should look like!20121030-191204.jpg20121030-191240.jpg20121030-191505.jpg


  • Artistic Expression!

    Singapore…Esplanade Mall’s Jendela Visual Arts Space hosted an inspiring exhibit: “Celebrating Life-The Best of the Human Spirit through the Arts”.

    This tribute project is meant to recognize Singapore’s pioneers and bring their vision to the forefront of the community’s cultural consciousness! These pioneers have made significant contribution to the growth and development of the arts in Singapore. Their efforts have been consummate expressions of the human spirit!

    These pioneers may have been overlooked by Singapore’s rapidly changing landscape and this exhibit is introducing their thoughts, views, and voice to a new generation through inspired words they have spoken!

    I found many profound and memorable words to live by!